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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  November 7, 2012 1:00am-1:30am EST

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been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader, and so anne and i join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation. thank you, and god bless america. you guys are the best. thank you so much. thanks, guys. >> woodruff: with a tone-- a gracious tone, governor romney said-- and here comes his wife, anne, and there is congressman paul ryan, the vic vietial
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-- actually, i think it was jenna ryan's daughter come out and hug her mother in a way that -- kids give things away that sometimes adults cannot. what i i'm struck by, mark, and i wonder if you're struck by, too, is the weakness of aplaus. it seems as if the crowd can't get itself together for one big cheer. >> it's a good point. the ryan daughter hugged her mother right around the waist as a child would do in sadness and
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disappointment. i think it was tough because nobody came out to warm them up. usually with something like that there's music and somebody warming up the crowd then you introduce him. he just came out cold. >> ifill: which i thought was surprising. >> it was quite dramatic and quite gracious and very generous. he twice said he himself would pray for the president and asked others to pray for the president. >> ifill: but the disappointment was palpable. >> it was. it was a real sense of sadness and envy. >> i got the sense they hadn't prepared for it. i really -- there was no production. the speech was fine. it was good. i wouldn't say it was eloquent or anything beyond what he is. he's sort of a plain spoken guy. but when he said he left it on the field he was right. i think he ran-- especially in the last month-- about as good a campaign as he was running.
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the party coalition is not that great, sandy happened and so he couldn't do it. but if i were republicans -- and i saw a tweet from their e-mail being sent out by the tea party patriots that the republican elite foisted this weak moderate on us. >> ifill: already it begins. >> and so that's not fair. i think he ran better than the party. >> woodruff: you're saying, david, you don't think there are things he could have done differently? should have done differently. >> well, every campaign has mistakes. the 47% comments were not helpful. he could have positioned himself differently in the primaries. he could have done the last two debates differently. but i thought he gave some of the best speeches of his life in the last couple weeks. >> woodruff: the first debate he did extremely well. >> ifill: it should be said that the crowd had been deflated after waiting for a while to hear from the guy but they did get a little bit of full-throated war when paul
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ryan's name was mentioned. more so than when mitt romney walked out. so paul ryan has a future in the party. >> paul ryan has a future. reelected to his house seat. but the record for defeated vice presidential candidates seeking the nomination, if you want to begin with henry cabot lodge, richard nixonen in 1960 all the way through, it's a terrible record. from joe lieberman most recently to dan quayle to -- >> ryan i think more than any of those has an independent constituency in the party. they was intellectual leader of the party before he was picked. >> i agree he does and he certainly got a great following in the "wall street journal" editorial page and certainly conservative pundits. i think he's going to find out it's going to be a crowded road if he wants to pursue in the
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2016. >> ifill: we have michael beschloss and richard norton smith. i am curious what you guys think of that speech. how does it rate? how does it rank among speeches of this kind? i thought it was a class act. it wasn't stevensonian but it was closer to al gore's speech we were just talking about than richard nixon's speech in 1962. >> almost everything is, richard. (laughter) >> well, in today's politics a lot of speeches sound a lot like richard nixon's in' 6. i thought it was an authentic appeal for national unity and i don't know what more you can ask from one who has to be heartbroken. >> i wondered whether there would be more of a reprise of the themes of the campaign, the principals of the campaign. >> well, i think whoever said -- i think perhaps it was david that he didn't seem to be
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prepared well for this. i think that's probably true. now fairly well known story that i have been told by george mcgovern and also walter mondale after the 1984 huge defeat by walter mondale, 49 states by ronald reagan. mondale asked mcgovern "george, when does it stop hurting?" and mcgovern said "as soon as it does i'll let you know." that was 12 years after mcgovern had been defeated. usually what happens is that a candidate who suffers a defeat like this wakes up at 2:00 a.m. for the next ten years saying "i shouldn't have made the 47% statement, i should have done other things differently." mitt romney may be an exception. he's got a huge close family, great religious faith and another thing interesting about this speech tonight is that i think he spoke more openly about his religious feelings than almost any other time. >> woodruff: we have a photograph that we'll show
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everyone released by the white house. this is at the moment the president -- or soon after the president and the vice president learned that the president would be reelected and joe biden would be reelected as vice president i want to stay with what you were just saying, michael and richard. because i'm struggling as i look back at my notes from what governor romney said. he did say we can't risk partisan bickering. we should rise to the occasion. but he also said "i'm concerned about the country and --" this message that he doesn't think the country is going in the right direction. >> well, i think that was fair. you can't expect the man within 24 hours to say "what i've been saying for the last two years i didn't mean it." but i think it shows a sensitivity, either subliminal or intended, to the fact that there have been so many people during the last four years, it's been a horrible thing to see, trying to cast shadows on the legitimacy of barack obama as
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president of theni e environment, the atmosphere of the next four years. >> ifill: i'm very curious about something that michael just mentioned which hasn't come up at all tonight which is mitt romney's religion. at the beginning of this election we thought this is going to be another test of america's ability to handle a new history-making moment. in this case a mormon, a member of the church of the latter-day saints and we never were able to really get a fix on whether that was a factor. do we know any more tonight? >> my sense is it was not -- and some of the credit goes to the obama campaign, even -- it was never raised even in a hidden way. and some credit goes to the american people. when romney talked about my church, my faith, my pastoral work, i thought they that played well. people responded well toll that.
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so we almost had a case where we had the president of the united states-- if romney had won-- the senate majority leader both being mormons. >> woodruff: if anything, i know from covering the conservative reaction, especially among christian conservatives after romney -- it was clear romney would be the nominee, there was more resistance there. i was hearing them bring it up more than democrats. >> pelley: they were overcoming any concern but i thought they were bringing it up more than democrats. >> and polling will show that, this that the greatest resistance was among evangelicals. >> well, i've seen polling showing there was more resistance on the left than the right. >> i agree among secular left. but i'm talking about religious resistance and it was overcome by their animosity towards obama. >> ifill: well, don't forget, we saw billy graham and his son franklin graham have a meeting with romney and shortly thereafter take off of their web
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site that mormonism was considered to be a cult. >> woodruff: was there an exit poll? we haven't seen the exit polls in the last few minutes but i don't know if jeff and stu and christina have been -- is there anything having to do with religion or faith that may give us a clue about that? or anything else that we haven't -- >> yeah, we absolutely have that yes. >> can we help you out there, judy? >> we've got something here. >> there were a lot of different things. they looked at the different types of religion you had and which candidate you were supporting. mormons were supporting mitt romney 80% to 19% for president obama. protestants supported mitt romney 62% to 32% for president obama. catholics were fairly evenly split. the president actually won them 49% to 48%. and jewish voters went with the president 68% to 31%. that's actually an issue we've
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looked at a few times on the newshour, particularly looking at each man's foreign policy in this instance. so that was an issue and then also just church attendance and even evangelicals. we talked about how mitt romney was not able to capture evangelicals during the republican primary. he brought that group home in this case, 79.of white born-again christians favored him tonight. >> ifill: it's interesting. i talked to people in the obama campaign who are particularly concerned about that catholic vote. they spent a lot of time and a lot of energy trying to see if they could figure out a way to get catholics to come on board. and they felt that that's what they were in competition for. and 49% to 48% looks like it came to a wash or a very even split. >> and it had a lot to the do with joe biden. this is somebody that even in 2008 they talked about selecting him as vice president would help them with catholic voters, certainly would help them in
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places like pennsylvania and rural ohio and that's why they were sending him to these areas. >> gwen, i wanted to add, first of all, the jewish sample is small but 31% by romney is a relatively good showing among -- for jewish voters. but the thing among catholics, it's not as much about religion, it's about religiosity. so that there's a question here in terms of church attendance. and mitt romney won catholics who attend church at least weekly, 58% to 41%. but the president won catholics who do not attend at least weekly 55% to 43%. so it goes in terms of religiosity, church attendance rather than merely what's your religion. >> same thing's true on protestants in terms of attending or not attending. >> right. so simply being a particular -- it's not as instructive or doesn't determine the vote which you would understand because it
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has to do with certain traditional values or less traditional values. >> woodruff: i was looking at the exit polls from 2008 and looking at the catholic split when president obama had -- and, gwen, this gets to your question. 54% to john mccain's 45% so this is a -- it's a reduction. it's a slide. it's a slide. and you can see the campaign protestant vote he lost to john mccain 45% to 54%. >> ifill: we have heard the president's motorcade is moving toward mccormick center in chicago where he is expected to shortly give his final acceptance speech he's not there yet so let's talk amongst ourselves. >> i'm curious to know not only how -- michael?
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>> judy, just a coda to our earlier discussion, it's an obvious point that for most of american history two presidential tickets have been four white protestants. if you look at these two tickets this year, there's not a single white protestant on either ticket. i think it's a great thing, shows how far we've come. >> as mark pointed out, it's one of the first time there is's not a single veteran. >> woodruff: there is a protestant but he happens to be an african american president. >> ifill: it may be that we have other things to fight about now. because it's not as if we're suddenly more together as a result of this. >> it's not a kumbaya moment. >> ifill: i think it's probably the opposite. >> they have new things to disagree about but i think it's really an important milestone among white catholics the
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president lost 59% to 39%. that's a decisive something. >> pelley: do we know how he --. >> woodruff: do we know how he did at white voters overall? i'm looking back at jeff and christina over there. >> we do have that, we have that graphic, i believe, as well, but it was -- >> romney won white voters 59% to 39%. >> and the president won african americans 93% to 7% and hispanicshe president won 69% to 30%. that's a significant showing. actually a couple points bnitter than 2008 when the president won hispanics by 67%. >> ifill: what's interesting about that, of course, is that early on in the campaign, republicans hoped to boost their latino turnout to maybe 40%. may fell well short. and the president really wanted to make that 40% hit among white voters and he fell short of that as well. so that was -- they both tried
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it but they both didn't quite try to close the gap as much as possible. >> ifill: it's --. >> woodruff: he won 43% of the white vote four years ago. so that's a 4% -- so shortly hopefully we will be hearing from the president. we will get a sense of what he is going to say tonight and what would you, mark, like to hear the president say in this concession speech as he begins to accept the mandate, if you dare say that word, or at least the acceptance of the second term. >> his gratitude and to acknowledge the good will that mitt romney extended. that the campaign is over. that the time for division is over. and that we recognize our differences but we must find in common -- i mean we must -- and i will go the extra mile. whatever it means and it's not just summoning people to meetings at the white house. he's got to be engaged in a way
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he has not been. >> ifill: do you think he's going to change in that way. >> i think there's a couple things he should acknowledge. one, how does he respond to mitt romney? frankly, the obama people have spoken about romney with contempt for several weeks or months. >> ifill: well, he wouldn't do that tonight. >> i know, but i want to see him go the extra mile and say i understand why 49% of the country voted this way. the second thing is, a lot of people who voted for barack obama were disappointed. have been disappointed in him. and so i would think he should acknowledge that. he tried -- a bad moment politically at the end of the first debate where he tried to acknowledge -- >> ifill: it was not the moment to do that. >> i think this is the moment. >> ifill: some of the pewerful moments that the romney camp and the partisans put out were things that said "i know you're disappointed, you don't have to vote for him again."
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>> woodruff: and even the president-- not even-- but the president himself in his speeches in the last few days have talked about i know i haven't -- i've made his stakes, i disappointed you. i think he even used that language. i was listening to his speech last night in des moines. seems like 100 years ago just last night but after i -- i believe he's using that kind of language, i know i've not let you down but language to that effect. >> ifill: stick with me i've got things i can still get done. richard and michael, i'm curious about this. what are the perils for second-term presidents? >> oh, my god, what are the perils? >> ifill: what are not the perils? >> that's the way to ask the question. >> paradoxically there are perils embedded in victory itself. if you and those around you misinterpret the meaning of your victory. if you believe it's carte blanche to do whatever you want in a second term. if you believe it's a blanket
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endorsement of everything you've done in your first term. if you overreach, if you over interpret. and yet the paradox is that the -- whoever was elected tonight is going to have to deal with very large structural economic and cultural challenges. and the only way-- the only way, it seems to me that they can be addressed with any hope of success is if somehow we find a way to bridge the divides that the campaign has exacerbated. so that illustrates in a nutshell the challenge that confronts the president. >> woodruff: and you have democrats arguing the president didn't do enough. the republicans don't agree with this but many democrats will argue the president waited too long for the republicans to come along, for example, on health
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care or on the debt ceiling and that he should have held his ground. so you've got criticism from both sides. >> i think anybody who covered the health care thing would have to acknowledge that nancy pelosi was the key to the health care. without nancy pelosi there is no health care. she was far more engaged and instrumental than the president was. it wasn't the president doing the negotiating. >> ifill: but it dragged on for so long. >> i know but that's -- he didn't get his hands dirty. he wasn't saying this was what i have to have. i don't think anybody knows what the president's position is on the public option. >> ifill: the president is en route to mccormack center for where his loyal supporters have been waving those little flags for what seems like hours now >> it's aerobic. >> woodruff: my friends, it has been two hours and five minutes
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since the news organizations projected that the president would be reelected after rejected that ohio was going to go for president obama. >> ifill: the president sent an e-mail to his supporter list in which he says "i will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support and doing what i can to finish what we started." but, he writes, "i want you to take real pride as i do in how we got the chance in the first place. today is the clearest proof yet that against the odds ordinary americans can overcome powerful interests. there's a lot more work to do. but for right now, thank you." that's the president's message. >> woodruff: where are you reading that, sghen. >> ifill: the e-mail he sent out to supporters last night. >> those supporters will be ecstatic not to get the e-mails anymore. >> woodruff: the reporters who cover these campaigns sign on for all of these e-mails.
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we get solicitations from both campaigns everyday for money. >> i don't want to hear about one more nickel for sherrod brown. >> i don't want a free dinner for barack obama. (laughter) >> woodruff: that looks like a full house but it looks like a quiet full house. >> ifill: can i hop back over to stu and christina because there are a couple of house races just now being called. in ohio, are you guys seeing this? >> yeah, we've been tracking them all night and we can definitely talk about them. one thing we wanted to chat about just -- for a second because we covered this on the newshour is in new hampshire actually women made history here. you had maggie hassan was elected governor, first female governor from that state. carol shea porter won that seat
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and ann mcchain custer won that seat so they have an all female delegation and, of course, the r vnoeras well. so this is a prettynonteresting situation where they're making history. and this was a good night for women overall you had a woman winning in hawaii. tammy baldwin winning in wisconsin. liz wet warren winning in massachusetts. and on the republican side you have deb fish erwining the seat in nebraska. these are four new women coming to the senate. senator mccaskell was reelected in what was a very tight race. and we're still waiting on results in nevada and north dakota with shelley berkeley, congresswoman from nevada and then heidi heightcamp, former state official in north dakota who's in a very close race. so that could end up being a sizable amount of women coming to the senate. >> two interesting house races. gwen, i'm not sure which house race you're talking about. betty sutton was beaten, renacy
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narrowly beats sutton. but two rather controversial-- i guess that's the right word too use-- republican members of the houses are in incredibly tight races right now. allen west in florida is trailing narrowly by about a thousand votes with just a couple percent not yet counted and michele bachmann is up by a margin like that, just a bare narrow lead in a very tight race in minnesota. so we're keeping an eye on that and if both of them were not in the house, i wonder whether that would change the tone of the entire body. i'm not sure. >> and bachmann's seat was redrawn to make it slightly more safe for republicans in redistricting. so that's interesting. we were surprised when we were looking at that, particularly given how much money and effort the republicans put into minnesota at the last minute at the presidential level. >> that's right. and right now it seems to be looking as if the democrats are going to gain somewhere between four and ten seats. >> ifill: some of the
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president's top staff are walking into the hall at mccormick place. i just saw jack lou, the president's chief of staff and jay carney, the president's press secretary. the entourage has arrived and they're ready to join the party. >> woodruff: as we watch this, can i just ask stu, jeff, and christina about the governor's races. do we know anything about what's happened with governors tonight? >> yes, we do. we obviously have maggie hassan is the governor-elect in new hampshire. we had pat mccori in north carolina, that's a flip of the seat. and what's interesting, i haven't seen the montana returns but in conversations with democrats who are looking at governors' races over the last few days, they are talking about that race just stay saved more time and maybe a little more money to put into the montana governors race. they felt like they could have made that more competitive. it looks like the republicans will win there. we're waiting on senator tester's race in montana.
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>> woodruff: does that mean a net gain for republicans among the governorships. >> we don't know montana but it looks like a plus one for republicans. remember, judy, two years from now is when we have over 30 governorships with the big states up. >> right, montana is the one you were talking about with tester. >> senator tester who was elected in 2006 when the democrats took control of the senate chamber is up by nearly 20,000 votes in that state but only 27% of precincts reporting. this is a state that's probably count ago little slow. it's more rural and one thing to say about denny rehberg is he's the at large congressman in that state. so he's been winning statewide for many cycles and he's well known. and there's so much money spent. for the last year you couldn't get a television ad on if you weren't a political campaign or super pac. >> so far the democrats are doing pretty well on tossup senate races and tossup house races.
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>> brown: you mentioned incumbent versus incumbent. >> well, there's the senate race that everyone was looking at. there was one in california that we don't have results in yet. >> and we had tom lee survive his challenge against leonard bosswell in iowa. that was an interesting race because you knew they were going to be drawn in the same distance for a year and a half and it was f memb ofer congress.howeverer >> the district favored democratic -- democrat bosworth by latham is one of his closest friends with john boehner >> well, there are all sorts of numbers to look at and we're alternating between showing everyone those numbers and showing the crowd and chicago which looked -- is it looking at itself on the stage? i can't tell what's happened there oh, there's a crowd backstage, too.
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the for a while it looked like there was a -- oh, there is a crowd on the stage. so it may not be a million plus from grant park but it looks like a full house and they are -- they're patient. it's now been two hours and 15 minutes. impatient and polite. >> and we get the few moments for those of you who might be tuning in and out we did hear a concession speech brief and to the point. concession street from mitt romney mitt romney was defeated by barack obama who was able to get his second term of office. >> it was a gracious set of remarks. he pray it is president will be successful in guiding our nation
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it had to be tough. it had to be tough for him. no question. >> we look at the picture of the president up there with joe biden. it's not insignificant. we talked about paul ryan and his future. let's talk about joe biden. we also talked about bill clinton. he did a lot of good work for the president in terms of getting out there and being a tireless surrogate but joe biden did a little bit kind of not exactly -- more under the radar, wouldn't you say, david? >> i thought he gave quite a good convention speech and by some measures it had one of the highest ratings of all the convention speechs so he did good work there. he didn't put put his foot in it and he went to some working class areas so he has reason to be proud of the job he's done. in general on substantive grounds he's done a good job for the white house. i understand they sometimes get frustrated with the things he says but he's done work on iraq, done a lot of the congressional


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